Skip to main content

Are you a legal professional? Visit our professional site

Please enter a legal issue and/or a location
Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Nursing Home Lawsuit Settlements FAQs

If you have an elderly parent or loved one in a nursing home, you hope he or she is getting the best care possible. Yet despite the best efforts of medical professionals and elder care advocates, nursing home abuse and neglect are a continuing problem in the U.S. National statistics are not available but in just one state, Minnesota, the Department of Health reported receiving some 400 complaints of abuse and neglect a week.

In 2020, the U.S. Department of Justice launched an initiative called Keeping Seniors Safe. The DOJ is investigating nursing homes in nine states that it suspects of providing “grossly substandard care."

Elder abuse in nursing homes ranges from neglect that results in bedsores, malnutrition, and dehydration, to assault, psychological abuse, and financial exploitation.

If your loved one suffered abuse in a nursing home and you are thinking of filing a lawsuit for elder abuse, this article provides information on nursing home lawsuit settlements. Remember, every case is different and no outcome is guaranteed. To learn more, speak with a qualified lawyer in your area.

Q: What are typical nursing home abuse claims?

A: When abuse or neglect occurs in a nursing home, prosecutors may bring a civil lawsuit to seek financial compensation for damages and, in some cases, a criminal complaint to punish the offender for unlawful actions.

There are three main types of civil claims that can be brought against a nursing home and its employee caregivers: a negligence claim, a breach of contract claim, and a wrongful death lawsuit.

Nursing home employees may be liable for negligence that leads to falls, broken bones, and head injuries. Negligence can also cause malnutrition or dehydration. There are also, unfortunately, many examples of outright abuse, assault, and sexual assault.

Owners of nursing homes can be liable for conditions that lead to poor care, such as negligent supervision, negligent hiring, and negligent maintenance.

Breach of contract claims can be made for failure to provide the services for which a family has paid their hard-earned money. There is also the problem of predatory billing practices, where seniors are overcharged or charged for services never received.

If a nursing home resident dies as a result of the action or inaction of caregivers, their family may choose to bring a wrongful death lawsuit. The lives of the elderly are not without value. Families suffer a grievous loss and may be haunted by feelings of guilt that their loved ones suffered. No amount of money can bring back a beloved parent, but many families hope that by having to pay for their actions, the nursing home will take more care in the future.

Some cases of nursing home abuse rise to the level of criminal. Wrongly hired and poorly supervised staff in nursing homes around the country have been found guilty of breaking arms, battering, sexually assaulting, and even killing residents. Families want a thorough investigation into injuries and the arrest of perpetrators.

Q: How does a settlement work?

A: A settlement is basically a resolution of a lawsuit without going to trial. Both parties come to an agreement on an amount of money in exchange for giving up the right to pursue further legal action. A 2003 study found that 88% of nursing home litigation was resolved through settlements and never go to a jury trial.

Q: What is the average settlement amount?

A: Here we have to make a BIG disclaimer. It is almost impossible to predict the outcome of any case with precision – particularly settlements. Every case has unique facts, evidence, and witnesses.

California, Texas, Illinois, and Florida have the highest number of nursing home abuse and neglect lawsuits. Texas and Florida report higher average financial recoveries. An average recovery of $406,000 was reported for nursing home litigation settlements in 2003. That number has undoubtedly increased in the intervening decades.

Settlements can range from thousands of dollars to multiple millions of dollars. Cases involving severe injuries and intentional harm achieve significant recoveries.

Q: Is there a limit to how much I can recover from a nursing home lawsuit?

A: It depends. Some states, such as Alaska, California, and Colorado, now limit the amount of recovery a plaintiff can receive for pain and suffering, emotional distress, fear, grief, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and loss of enjoyment of life. These are also called non-economic damages. These limits are called damages caps. Damage caps are not applicable in every type of personal injury case, however. For example, in CA, these caps only exist for medical malpractice claims.

You can see an example of this in the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act, enacted in California in 1975. This tort reform sought to manage the high cost of medical care.

Nursing Home Lawsuit Settlement FAQs: Related Resources

Get a Claim Review of Your Nursing Home Abuse Case

Nothing can be more heart-wrenching than realizing your elderly parent is being abused or neglected by their supposedly trusted caregivers. Fight back. You can do that by filing a lawsuit against the caregiver or their parent company. Learn more about filing a nursing home abuse case by contacting a local personal injury attorney who specializes in these types of cases.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

Or contact an attorney near you:

Next Steps

Contact a qualified personal injury attorney to make sure your rights are protected.

Begin typing to search, use arrow keys to navigate, use enter to select

Help Me Find a Do-It-Yourself Solution

Copied to clipboard

Find a Lawyer

More Options